If time is money and you have more time, Do you need more money?

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Recent Sail Quotes ... Albin Vega 27... and the Winner is...

I have been using the same old tattered and torn main sail since I purchased s/v Gemini Dreams 5 years ago.  I entertained the idea of buying a new main more than once since then but kept putting it off.  Now here I am at the end of Cruising Season 5.  Even though I didn't make it to the Bahamas this year it still comes as another year of age to the old main.  With tape on a tear, the seams starting to unravel and just flat out baggy when all else is great, I pronounce svGeminiDreams' mainsail retired.

Upon the initial search the site Northsailsdirect.com was no longer there.  All the previous decisions were now in need of evaluation.  I sent requests to almost all the top sail lofts in the USA.  Almost everyone responded except Doyle and UK (UK responded saying they would get to it, but oh well).  The pricing for a Main came in from $775 to  $2150 for a complete sail (some quotes still need shipping added).  Everyone so far has been cordial except Hood who was a little condescending (unfortunate as my Assymetrical and Foresail is Hood and I would have paid more to keep the set one maker.  But not that much more!).

Also please do your due diligence when searching for a sail maker.  Of the list of lofts below, several people on the net have shared their experiences both good and bad.  I will not share directly any of those but I will share my personal experience with the sail maker I choose.  In all fairness to any and all the lofts my inquiry started out the week before 4th of July weekend.

Out of all the quotes, internet comments and referrals from other sailors I chose Hyde Direct and Judy Blumhorst.  Below will be a ledger of interactions with them.

© Photo copyright Hyde Sails
  • June 26th -  Used Hydesailsdirect.com (HSD) to get the estimate for my Albin Vega. This tool is EXCELENT!  You never have to talk to anyone if you don't want to. There are 5 mains, 16 headsails, and 5 spinnakers quoted already.  
  • July 5th -Sent HSD a request for pricing on Boom/Stacker and Gennaker. No response from HSD perhaps they do not do the Stacker or Gennakers.
  • July 8th - Sent HydeSails.us (HS) web form about pricing on Boom/Stacker and Gennaker. Auto conformation received.  Later email "I can see that you require a Stack away cover , and a Code O ?" No that was a G0!  Mark Corbett at HS refered my email to HSD.  I still have no quote of a Boom/Stacker or G0!
  • July 13th - Used Hydesailsdirect.com to make order for Mainsail.  Albin 27 Vega Performance Mainsail (Challenge Warp-Drive Dacron) 211R  Full batten with 3 reefs at $1589 shipped.  Hyde charged 10% at this time.  
  • July 14th - Received email from David Blumhorst with details and measurement forms.
  • July 15th - Email recieved from HS and Mark Corbett... "I can see that you require a Stack away cover , and a Code O ?" No that was a G0!  Mark Corbett at HS has referred my email to HSD.  I still have no quote of a Boom/Stacker or G0! from either HS or HSD.
  • July 18th - Finally had time and weather to measure the sail.  Sent forms and pics to HSD.  Within 5 minutes a reply from Mark acknowledging this email and that they would get me a quote for the stacker and G0/1 
  • July 24th - Sent email asking status since I have not received either an email or another payment as expected.  Auto return stating out of office until 7/27/15
  • July -
  • July -

© photos copyright Hyde Sails

Sail quotes for Albin Vega 27:  The +/-SR is the amount for a headsail and main (Set) over or under from the SailRite kit.  Quoted pricing July, 2015.

Vendor135%150%MainSet+/- SRCode 0

Far East$10807.18oz
4 full
Hyde Direct
4 full
Hyde Direct
4 full
Mack Sails5.77oz

UK Sails


Notes: All foresails have the premium sun cover offered by the loft.  All mains have two reefs except the Hydesailsdirect.com as I finally chose three reefs during the order increasing the price by $33.  *not used for comparison,  **used as base but needs to be sewn by you,  blanks and ?'s were either not asked or answered.

your welcome

tags: sail quote albin vega 27 estimate maker world news hillary clinton jeb bush svgeminidreams gemini dreams cruising bahamas carlos lehder cuba normalcy normal sailing travel

Friday, July 10, 2015

Happy 4th!

Sunset July 4th , 2015

Last week was the first time in 4 1/2 years I finally had to pull a motor apart and fix the water pump.  I was still dripping but not enough to protect the engine.   I tried the usual things to make the flow better before turning bolts but to no avail.  Once I decided to break open the impeller (my first time) of course I lost the drive pin.  What a stupid design on the little Mercury!  The good news is the impeller was okay but why was the flow bad.  Blockage most likely.  I still had the previous 3.5 on the rail waiting for listing on Craig's List.  So, off came my second impeller and being more careful not to loose the drive pin.  Once the newer motor was all assembled with a new impeller it was time to "start the motor".  Vroom Vroom sputter vroom.  It didn't like being upside down for a little while. Now all was running well except the water was just dribbling out!  It's hot time for a break.

Natures own 4th show coming to town.
Stirred up the boats waiting on the fireworks like it was in Boot Key.
The storm quickly blew over after creating a little excitement.
Remember people... Manson Supreme!

Fourth of July at Madeira Beach, FL 2015

 Just a few minutes between shots July 3rd

The bluest sunset since the reflections on the Banks of the Bahamas
July 5th, 2015

Back to the impeller change...  With no real change after replacing the impeller I was going to get a gallon of Barnacle Buster and hope that fixed the problem.  After a few hours I restarted the motor and it has been running as it should every since.  I have a spare impeller for emergency use too.

If anyone is curious, I use about 1 gallon of gas a month in the little 3.5 Mercury.


Oh, that little pin... I found it 3 days latter in the dinghy

Friday, June 12, 2015

One Day Closer

"And you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it's sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death"

happy birthday to me

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Wasting the Day

Time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking...

I hope you enjoyed the videos from s/v Delose as much as I did.  As most that I know have been in the Bahamas this year I just keep wasting the day in an offhand way.  

 Ariving home to a peaceful rumset

 s/v Geminidreams being over taken by the darkness

Sunset to rain drops in 10 minutes 

the monster of the day

Even though it looked ominus the cloud only dropped a few drops on Mad Beach.  I has been a very mild lightening season here compared to previous experience.   

Thought I'd something more to say

Friday, May 1, 2015

Catching Up On Needful Things

Way back before Morgans Bluff we broke part of our rear stay.  Yes, of course we had the boat overpowered with full sails in big seas and too much wind.  With a little help from our buddy boat and some parts we had we replaced the old "Y" with Endura Braid.  The fix was so much stronger than the original we left it until we returned to the Emerald City.  I thought about using Hi Tech lines instead of the stainless rope but after weighing all the options and especially durability I kept the stainless but used 316 instead of 304.

Spotted dolphins allways make the day

Once moored in Massalina Bayou I dug out our parts for the rigging rebuild.  Not long ago while tied to a dock here in Massalina I rebuilt the Hood roller.  At that time I replaced the fore stay with 1/4 inch wire and swagless Hi-MOD fittings from Hyan.  Once that was complete I stuffed all the remaining fittings back into a large zip-lock and waited for another day.  Seems now I should have done the rear at that time too.

Thanks Rick and Audrey of s/v Naked Lady
 for drilling my new toggles to the mast pin size.

I rebuilt the stay in the same design as the previous one.  Except, I purchased a triangle plate instead of looping the lower split around a thimble.  I also upgraded the toggles at the mast head to match the Hayn fittings.  Now upon that wonder known as "Hindsight" I would have put the triangle plate at the mast head and ran two full length rear stays.  The cost would have been the same or less due to fewer fittings and smaller wire rope.

Setting the 316 SS wire rope

A little 4200 to keep water out 

All tight and squeezed

Excess 4200 cleaned up

New Turnbuckles for the rig adjustment

For those times the boat thinks it is a racer or beats into the wind a tensioner

A fiddle set and more Endura Braid complete the rear stay tensioner

 Now that I have crossed the Gulf and have left PC I need to wait for a calm day during the week to do the side stays.  Everything is on the boat and ready.  I should have done it in the flat water of Massalina.

 s/v Mini Pearl stopping in Mad Beach for a quick hello on her way to the Emerald City

Rumsets and Fairwinds

Friday, April 24, 2015

Hanging onto the bottom of the ocean in quiet desperation

One day in Morgans Bluff while waiting on an approaching north wind (hint: don't do that) we set out our Manson and Fortress.  After we were "set" we watched Ben and Darren on s/v Liberty set three anchors with an endless supply of rode.  They just kept pulling out rode.  They even offered us more if we needed it.  Okay we now had a case of rode envy.  After 3 years living mostly on the hook we felt the need for more line!  Why?  Beats me.  It is more money, more space and more weight.  Something has to go overboard... here, kitty, kitty.

I think Syd spent too many nights in a north facing anchorage with sea walls

Once I was in the Emerald City I started the replacement of ALL of our ground tackle.  Well almost all... our trusty 35 pound Manson Supreme will live on.

Our 142 feet of 1/4 inch had a terrible issue developing in the exact middle of the length.  Seems the extended stay in Boca Ciega rapidly ate away at the chain.  Leaving it with flaking links where it sat in the water column.  I continued to use the chain keeping tighter than usual so the center section was not loaded until I was back in Boca Ciega.  Once there I used the good sections from both ends along with new line and traditional anchors to make a temporary mooring for the next extended stay in the corrosive waters.

Not even cut and the spool of 9/16 3-strand got rained on.

The first project to come in was the 600 foot spool of 9/16 inch New England Ropes Three strand.  Followed by only 100 feet of 1/4 inch High Test G43 chain.  Off came the first 200 feet of 3-strand to be spliced onto the chain.  This was destined to be mated to the New 25 pound Manson Supreme I purchased from a friend for a great savings.  Mason rates this setup for a 25-35 foot boat.  This is our number two rode.  I also purchased two rode bags one small for this set up and a large for the number one.

The first of several splices.  Without a windlass there was no need to taper the splice.

It was a lovely sunset while I spliced the two together and marked the line.

Next I cut off another 200 feet of the 9/16 line to go on our Lunch Hook.  Oh we are keeping a second item from the first 4 years, our 10 pound Fortress.  The Fortress was mated to 20 feet of 1/4 inch High Test G43 and the second cut of 200 feet 3 strand.  Fortress rates this for a 33-38 foot boat.  THEY think their anchors are way better than reality.

Rode number 2 bagged and ready.

With the first two rodes done it was time to roll off the third 200 feet from the spool.  Sitting there in the cockpit the final third looked extremely larger than the previous two cuts.  Damn I can't count.  Time to recount cut one and two.  200! 200!  Damn I really can't count.  Let's do it again. 200! 200!  Okay time to count the 3rd cut... 287+-!  Can I really not count to 200 without loosing track.  Somewhere around the 5th time I concede that the spool was actually 687 and not 600! Great but my head hurts now.

The 3rd 200 foot cut dwarfing the first cut and chain. 

Later I purchased a length of 5/16 High Test G43 to mate with the tried and true 35 pound Manson Supreme that has held us well over the last 4 years.  This is spliced to a 300 foot length of 5/8 NER 3-strand and stands as our number one rode.  The standard Keys and Bahama anchorage length is kept in the locker with the final tail of the rode stored in the V-birth in a bag secured to the bulkhead.  Manson rates the 35 Supreme up to a 40 foot boat.  Yes it is OVERKILL.  Yes I sleep better!  You never know when the wind will hit 30 knots and a SeaRay is anchored near by or there is a storm brewing.

With the cruising rodes complete.  It was time to make a temporary mooring to be used during our time in Boca Ciega this year.  We didn't want to use any of our new chain or line!  Previous experience taught us that chain becomes unusable after 6 months here in the water column.  We utilized the good ends of the previous chain connected to new 3-strand and 26 pound traditional anchors.  Only two points compared to the typical 3 point system but we can always add the third with the Mansons in tandem for an approaching storm.  With the addition of an oversize swivel to the mooring we no longer do the line twist.

Rumsets and Fairwinds


Damn time flies

Enjoy more sunsets

Well... I just realized it has been over a year since the incident in Bimini.  Since that time we have made big changes on board s/v Gemini Dreams.

Miss you TinMan

First was the hardest of the changes.  My first mate jumped ship.  Seems he decided to return to public school.  After three solid years of him within 3 feet of me it was a hard adjustment.  Actually kind of depressing.

Second which complicated the first even more I returned to the Emerald City once again.  I tried my best not to complain about how I feel about the city compared to 30 years ago.  Seems the news is doing enough of that for me.

13 taking one last look back as he walks the plank

Third, I made 13 walk the plank.  With out the first mate 13 was ever so bored so I found him a new home in St Pete.  He can now entertain his new friends.

A new panel awaits time

Fourth is an ongoing battle of time, weather, money and boat projects.  Seems when I have time the weather is either wet or cold.

Life is better with softball, love you Boo

I will try to post the projects over the next few months.  Once again rambling in an off hand way utilizing TV generational metaphors and esoteric musical content.  I have missed posting the blog but for 3 years it was my way to brag about the Fisher King and his excitement for life.  Now it will be just the miscellaneous ramblings of a senile old man on a tiny boat trying to live life and catch a few softball games.


Monday, June 9, 2014

The Land of Oz and those Damn Flying Monkeys

The last night in Mad Beach

We finally made a decision on our indecisive plan for the summer/hurricane season.  With so many reasons to stay in Mad Beach it became obvious we needed to venture across the Gulf of Mexico toward the Emerald City.

My favorite part of crossing the Gulf are the spotted dolphins

It took all the way across this time only three hours out of East Pass

The crossing was uneventful except deciding to clean the bottom offshore.  In just three weeks anchored in Boca Ciega Bay Gemini Dreams had a new carpet below.  With Government cut being so unpredictable we didn't complain when the wind took us eastward to East Pass.  After clearing the pass and starting the backtrack on the ICW the wind stiffened to 15-20 on the nose.  Even Motoring became a chore so with the help of Active Captain we chose an anchorage to get some rest and wait for the 7am forecast light winds.

Just past 1am the anchor alarm sounded.  The wind was a steady 20 plus that soon became gusts to 40 or better.  A quick look on the iPhone 's Garmin app showed a hard storm line just the East of us.  Luckily the intensity only lasted for an hour and we missed all the torrential rain they were getting just a few miles away.

For all those in Boot Key Harbor...
FWC checking the fish!

We left early the next morning crossing paths with s/v Enterprise,a Newport 28.  As they turned to hoist the sails we slipped past.  We utilized the dinghy dock in Apalachicola to tie up the big boat and walk two blocks to the gas station.  When we returned from the gas station I realized the little red boat belonged to some die hard Boot Key Cruisers on their way home to Alabama for a visit.  I shared what information I could about Apalachicola and Panama City before I was off on my way.

s/v Enterprise, the smaller of the two red hulls

As Wettapoo Creek started to show so did the damn flying monkeys.  Yellow flies to be exact!  First a couple then 4 or 5 at a time.  As the creek started to widen into the bay I was continually swarmed.  I could no longer count the damn flying basta%$, I mean monkeys!  I passed about three marker cans before I realized that was where they were ambushing me from.  Finding the most caustic can of spray we had on the boat was the only hindrance to their assault.  As we passed a can I waited a few seconds until the lead squadron was visible and then we fogged the rear of the boat.  We were able to keep the counts in the hundreds instead of the thousands.  (the bites are driving me crazy two days later)

A little boat anchored in Oz at Midnight Thirty, June the 8th.  The cruising season is over.  We are back on the Emerald Coast.